Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Agents Who Rock

My previous post, "Agents Who Suck," described my experience with my first agent, who sucked.

Clever title, no?

Today's post concerns my current agent, Liza Fleissig of Liza Royce Agency, who does NOT suck.  In fact, she rocks.

You can see where I'm going with this, right?

For every sucky agent, there's a rocking agent (or maybe two or three).  And it's our job as writers to figure out which ones are which.

For the benefit of everyone who's trying to sort this out, especially debut authors, here's how I knew (and know) that Liza rocked (and rocks).

1. She genuinely fell in love with my book.

As in, genuinely fell in love with it.  No ranting and raving (like the previous, sucky agent) about how great it was and how it was going to set the world on fire.  Just her own, personal, sincere love of the book.  That's what you want in an agent: genuine love, not a bat-signal in the sky and a three-ring circus.

2. She never leaves me hanging.

To this day, every time I call or email Liza, I get a reply within a day (usually more like within minutes).  With the sucky agent, I waited days, weeks, months.

3. She has a sense of humor about the process.

You'd have to talk to her to know Liza's particular brand of humor, but as a general rule, I'd advise hooking up with an agent who finds the process at least partly bizarre and amusing.  Sucky agent was a nail-biting worry-wart who treated everything as if it was a major offensive in a world war.  I wanted to say to her, for heaven's sake, we're just trying to get a book published here.

4. She's a rock.

There are days when I, like all writers, feel really low.  Even after my book was accepted for publication, I had those days.  They happen.  As writers, we're allowed to have those days.  Agents are allowed to have them too--but they're not allowed to dump them on their clients.  Sucky agent did.  Liza doesn't.

5. She doesn't bullshit you.

From the get-go, Liza struck me as someone I could trust absolutely--no hidden agendas, no games, no shenanigans.  She doesn't praise when no praise is due, and she doesn't dangle promises she can't deliver.  For sucky agent, take everything I just said and reverse it.

So there you have it, folks.  If this post seems more effusive than the norm, that's because I'm so pleased to have found an agent who is all of the above.  If you can't say the same about your agent, then in my humble opinion you need to keep searching.

We all owe it to ourselves to find our Liza.


  1. Very cool and a nicely drawn-out contrast.

  2. Thanks, Michel. I really think it's important for writers who work with agents to know these things so they don't settle for less than they deserve.

  3. I, unfortunately, had a very similar experience and am so happy to now have Liza in my corner! Finding someone with that genuine, totally-gets-it love for your book and your writing is more than I could wish for. Yep, I hope everyone finds their Liza.

  4. Hi, Kerry. I hear so many comments like yours, I wonder whether one of the best-kept secrets about agents is that MANY of us have bad experiences with our first (or second, or third) before we find the perfect match. Maybe this needs to be publicized better so writers don't feel--as I did initially--that there's something wrong with THEM when their agent doesn't work out.

  5. It was Liza's enthusiasm and love for my book that made me say yes to her offer. I have never looked back and am thrilled with her unfailing determination to really get our books seen by the best people in the business of publishing. 3 Cheers for Liza and Ginger!

    1. I'm in COMPLETE agreement with you, Darlene! Some writers are reluctant to sign with a newer agent for various reasons, and that's understandable. But when you find an agent as passionate and tenacious as Liza, you know you've struck gold!

  6. I just queried this agent with my PB based on your post! I'd LOVE to work with someone like her. I need an agent that's true, and for heavens sake, a dang sense of humor is a must in this business. Now, if she only feels the same way about my ms. Thanks for the post. Great job on Sucky vs. Awesome. :)

    1. Thanks, Elaine! I hope to hear good news about your ms.--please keep me posted!

  7. I could not agree more! Signing with Liza was a dream come true! She's fast on the emails and champion for her clients. So glad I found her before the world discovers what a gem of an agent she is! I'm a fan-girl. Not even trying to deny it!